The Head of the UNSMIL, Ghassan Salame, has said that fighting terrorism and protecting civilians are red lines.
Salame told reporters that his latest statements about the southern region in Libya had been misinterpreted, adding that there are two stable UNSMIL stances: fighting terrorism, which is legitimate right for Libyans and the protection of civilians amid clashes.
“We as the UNSMIL see a number of terror bases that need to be fought and defeated and we call on all parties to join the fighting against terror.” Salame said.
UNSMIL expressed last Sunday its deep concern about reports coming from the southern region on the mobilization of armed forces and the escalating cycle of statements and counter-statements, signaling growing risks of imminent conflict.
Salame called in a statement posted on UNSMIL on all parties in south Libya to exercise maximum restraint.
“I have visited the city of Sabha last week and sensed that the people of the South, representing different political and ethnic backgrounds, have a genuine desire to settle the issues dividing them, for a better future for their region. This is precisely what the South needs, addressing the pressing issues, the most important of which are the security and humanitarian concerns.” Salame added.
He added that the parties in the south were strongly convinced that war and conflicts would only exacerbate the situation rather than finding viable solutions for the lingering issues.
Salame also said to the UN Security Council last week that the southerners in Libya are suffering from the brutality of the ISIS terrorist fighters to what he described as lakes of sewage in the region due to the lack of investment in basic public infrastructure to foreign mercenaries who slip through porous borders and then common criminals that prey upon citizens and migrants.